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W)t Inilutmt 
ol #Iiijm iWariamne Eaf# 
on Curopean ^ocietp in f aba 



1^. W. ban be OTiall, 

artliaeologttal ^urbep Betiartment ^atabia. 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

The Influence of Olivia Mariamne Raffles on European 

Society in Java (1812 — 1814). 


Archaeological Survey Department Batavia. 

^UCH has been written about the merits of 
that colonial statesman, Sir Thomas Stamford 
Bingley Raffles, who was for five years Lieuten- 
ant Governor of the Island of Java and its De- 
pendencies, but there is little known about his 
first wife, who accompanied him to Weltevreden 
and died here. In the Botanic Gardens at Bui- 
tenzorg, not far from the large pond, there stands 
in a picturesque setting, half-hidden in the ver- 
dure, a little shrine in the Byzantine style, which 
was erected to the memory of the woman, who 
exercised such a great influence for the impro- 
vement of the manners of European society in 
Java at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 
Although this talented woman filled the position 
of first lady in the land for only three years, 
her influence was so marked and so abiding, 
that since her time a number of less reputable 
customs and peculiar imitations of native ways 
disappeared to make room for a healthier state 
of things, more worthy of the prestige of the old 
Company's servants in the East. 

Olivia Mariamne Devenish (for that was her 
maiden name) was born in 1771 and married at 
Madras Jacob Cassivelaun Fancourt, a young man 
connected with the Madras Establishment in the 
respectable capacity of Assistant-Surgeon. There 
was nothing in her life 
then to suggest that she 
would one day be called 
upon to play a leading 
part in a neighbouring 
country, on the contrary 
she began her married 
life, like so many other 
wives of colonists, wit- 
hin the narrow walls of 
a fort in a grey, empty 

It was only after Fan- 
court's death that she 
made the acquaintance 
of Raffles, who was extra 
clerk in India House, 
London, and had there 
so distinguished hims- 
elf that the Court 
of Directors appointed 

Memorial to Olivia RaJJles in the Botanical gardens, Buitenzorg. 

him Assistant Secretary to the Penang Esta- 
blishment. Raffles was the son of a ship's 
captain in the West India trade, and was born at 
sea off Port Morant in Jamaica, on board the 
merchant-ship Ann. His mother was a Miss 
Lindeman, of whom little is known, but to judge 
by her name she was not of English birth. When 
Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles started his 
voyage in the Ganges (under Captain Harrington) 
for the unknown country, where there was so 
much in store for him, he was scarcely twenty - 
four. We are told that the ambitious young man 
arrived at Penang in September of the year 1805 
and that his marriage with the widow of Cassivel- 
aun Fancourt had taken place on 14th March 
of the same year. 

Thus the widow of 34 had given her heart and 
hand to the future founder of Sinhapura (Lion 
City) and entered for her part on a new life, which 
was to lead her to honour and greatness. 

After having been made Secretary, Raffles was 
transferred to Malacca as Agent to the Governor- 
General with the Malay States', a responsible post, 
which he filled witch credit from 1809 to 1811, 
thus coming in for some notice. And so, when Java 
was taken and the Company had fallen, it was 
not by accident that Lord Minto, looking about 

for a man to appoint 
as Lieutenant Governor 
of Java and Dependen- 
cies, allowed his choice 
to fall on Raffles, who 
thus at 30 filled such a 
high office. 

In 181 1 the Honour- 
able Mr and Mrs Raffles 
(his knigthood did not 
come till 181 7, after the 
publication of his great 
work, the History of Java 
and Olivia Mariamne 
was not to live to share it) 
installed themselves at 
Weltevreden, where they 
were received with the 
due marks of respect 
by the residents. For 
the greater part of their 


On the morning of 23 December many wreaths were laid on the grave of 
Mrs. Raffles — first wife of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles — who was buried 
at Tanah Abang Cemetery. 

sojourn in Java, however, they lived in the palace 
at Buitenzorg, which the Lieutenant-Governor 
considerably enlarged and beautified. He effected 
a great deal of good, increased the revenue, re- 
formed many abuses dating from the Company's 
time, reorganised the administration of justice and 
the police, abolished the slave-trade, collected im- 
portant statistics, and gave new life to Arts and 
Letters by the resuscitation of the defunct Batavia 
Society. His home policy, too, was not unfortu- 
nate and he showed himself zealous for the ex- 
tension of England's power in the East Indian 

As for Olivia Mariamne, it was altogether a 
strange world, in which she had now to move and 
it must have cost her difficulty enough at first 

to the pernicious environment to which 
they were exposed from their childhood, 
but she was veritably amazed at meeting 
in Java's highest circles ladies, who scarcely 
spoke anything but Malay. 

She was struck further by the fact that 
side by side with the greatest luxury 
there were the most primitive customs and 
manners to be found, which bordered on 
the ridiculous. The Batavia ladies passed 
their day in feasting, smoking, dicing and 
betel-chewing. The latter pastimes, espe- 
cially, they had become enslaved to, and 
the Governor's wife was told to her great 
astonishment that a lady of class here was 
regarded as lacking in breeding, if she did 
not carry about with her her betel-hox\ 
She courageously spoke out her mind and 
all the cuspidors and other paraphernalia 
of beteZ- chewing were banished from the 
palace at Buitenzorg. The ladies saw 
how matters stood and no woman of rank 
ventured to appear at Court again with this 
favourite 'delight', although they could not give 
it up instantly and so chewed all the more 
heartily at home. 

She took exception not only to the inordinate 
luxury in high circles a thing unknown in English 
society in Java, but also to the feminine fashion 
in dress. At her first receptions she was rendered 
speechless by the apparition of numerous beauties 
decked in sarong and cahaya and hung with jewels 
like the bayaderes of the Grand Mogul. The first 
thought of the woman of birth and breeding was 
that this crowd, that was making such a strange 
picture in the midst of the correctly dressed Eng- 
lish women, consisted of consequential native 
ladies, but picture her amazement when it was 


to get to feel at home in it. True, she was sur 

rounded by her own compatriots, high-placed Eng- whispered in her ear that they were the wives of 

lish officials and their wives, but their numbers the Coxmcillors of State, nay even the spouse of 

were very small and Dutch ladies and gentlemen 
preponderated, and, while she could not speak their 
language, there were certain duties which she as 
the Governor's wife had to discharge towards them. 
It did not take her long to see that the standard 
of the Dutch women, even those of high position, 

the Director- General under the previous admi- 
nistration Here, again, Olivia Mariamne 

showed her displeasure and the general verdict 
among the Batavia ladies was that the new nonja 
hesar (chief lady) was a very troublesome person. 
Was it not bad enough to have to do without 

with whom she came in daily contact was not very their betel-quid, that now their beloved cahaya 

niust go, a garb as old as the Jacatra Road? And 
only because the 'Lady Governess' considered it 
not good enough! 

The cam.paign in high places against betel-chew- 
ing and the cahaya evoked some passive resistance 
at first, but that was soon dropped, when the 
good intentions of the Honourable Mrs Raffles 

high, and that on the whole there was miserably 
little education and culture. She had had a close 
acquaintance with colonial life for many years 
and she must have known that, generally speaking, 
the European women in Java were not remarkable 
for their intellectual gifts, partly owing to the de- 
ficiency of educational facilities and partly owing 


were _ realized. Employing abundant tact, she 
contrived to effect the necessary reforms in social 
manners and there is no question but she did what 
she set out to do. She spared people's feelings, 
and in her difficult position she succeeded in 
performing her duties in such a manner as to win 
the sympathies of all. Her natural sweetness and 
the charm of her personality did not fail to impress 
deeply those around her, and soon people were 
all agreed that the new Governor's lady was the 
right woman in the right place, and even the few 
who were still unable to sympathise with her had 
to admit that Olivia Mariamne Raffles, whatever 
else they may have had to say about her, was a 
very kindly woman. 

Strange though it may sound, she was, despite 
her strict principles, a welcome and much-estee- 
med guest in Batavia company, and people vied 
with one another in their attentions. The bril- 
liant evening parties of the leading families, like 
the Couperuses, Cranssens, Van Ysseldijks, Mun- 
tinghes, Servatiuses and many others, costing a 
mint of money, were graced by her presence, and 
she observed with satisfaction that the barbaric 
luxury and slovenly manners had disappeared, 
yielding place to a more refined splendour and 
more decent ways. Quietly she began to number her friends Dutch families, too, and among 
her intimates were, in the first place, the Cou- 
peruses, Petrus Theodorus, ex-Governor of Ma- 
lacca, and his wife, Catherina Rica Cranssen. 
Besides the Couperuses and Cranssens, and Dr. 
Leyden, the dear friend of the Raffleses, who died 
an untimely death, there was many another Dutch 
family in their circle of friends in Batavia society. 

The Java Government Gazette contained ac- 
counts of many grand entertainments, at which 
Olivia Mariamne scintillated as a hostess without 
equal. How great was her influence, which gra- 
dually made itself felt in society, may be judged 
from what appeared in the Gazette after a grand 
fete in 1812. 

"At the entertainment recently given at Batavia 
it was remarked how great an improvement has 
been introduced in respect to the attire of the 
Dutch ladies since the British authority has been 
established. The cahaya appears now generally 
disused and the more elegant English costume 
adopted. We congratulate our friends on the 
ameHoration of the public taste, because we see 
in it the dawn of still greater and more import- 
ant improvements". 

One of the first large evening parties in the 
Palace at Buitenzorg, where she made her first 

public appearance, was the fete given in honour 
of the Sultans of Cheribon and the Prang- Wedono, 
who had before been received with pomp and 
circumstance at the palace on 28th March 1812. 
A great official ball followed at Government 
House, Rijswijk, on 22nd April. That was a great 
year for her, for she accompanied her husband on 
the greater part of his tour to Semarang and 
Jogja, and made her first acquaintance with the 
land which he had been called to rule over. She 
had an opportunity to study the country and the 
people, for Raffles travelled slowly, and the whole 
journey, which had been planned and mapped 
out in advance, proceeded according to programme 
and to the satisfaction of all. Before their departure 
the officers profferred a respectful request to be 
given the opportunity of saying farewell; she 
graciously complied, and the Garrison gave a 
ball and a supper at Weltevreden. 

During this journey the administration was 
entrusted to Herman Warner Muntinghe, as we 
see from an advertisement in the Java Government 
Gazette reading as follows: 

"The Honorable the Vice President in Council 
requests the honour of the Company's Civil, 
Naval and Military servants to a Ball and Supper, 
at Goonoong Saree on the evening of the 4th 
June next in honor of the anniversary of His 
Majesty's birthday". 

Although the Raffleses had already started and 
could not be present at the celebration of the 47th 
birthday of the King of England, they were both 
remembered at the brilliant supper that followed 
the ball, and there was a toast drunk to "Mrs 
Raffles and the ladies of the settlement" to the stra- 
ins of the merry song, "Will you come to theBower." 

The Governor and his spouse were at Semarang, 
where Raffles held a crowded levee at Government 
House, Bodjong, and amid much pomp and splend- 
our the envoys of the Sultans of Bandjermasin, 
Pontianak and Riouw paid their respects. 

In the evening there was a grand fete, at which 
Olivia Mariamne received the respects of the 
Semarang residents, who were enchanted by the 
winsomeness and the charming manners of "Our 
amiable Lady Governess". The left not long af- 
ter with a few members of the suite for Salatiga, 
where she stayed some time, resting from her 
pressing representative duties, for her health was 
weak and she could not stand the climate of Java 
so well. The oppressive heat of Semarang was 
very trying and she was glad to be able to make a 
short stay in the delightful fresh air of that small 
mountain village, which enjoyed a peculiar popu- 


The grave of Olivia Mariamne Raffles. 

larity at that day. She often returned to Salatiga, 
when circumstances permitted. 

Thus it was that she was not present at the ball 
in honour of the Prince Regent's birthday in 
August, nor were the races in Weltevreden on the 
same occasion graced by her presence. 

Raffles, however, who was very particular about 
the observance of the national holidays and had 
travelled express to Weltevreden, suddenly and 
unexpectedly made his appearance at the ball in 
Goenoeng Sarie, accompanied only by his adjutants. 
Major Campbell, and Lieutenants Travers and 
Charles Assey. The return voyage had been very 
favourable, taking only 48 hours, so that the usual 
ceremonial, over which he presided, could be gone 
through. The following day the Governor held a 
well-attended levee in Government House on the 
Molenvliet and a reception in honour of the Sultan 
of Palembang. 

One of the last of the festivities of the year 
1 81 2 was a brilliant "public breakfast", given by 
one of the wealthiest of the merchants in Batavia, 
Timmerman Thyssen, on the occasion of the re- 
naming of one of his ships from "Pekin" to "Gover- 
nor Raffles" . It was quite an event and furnished 
clinching proof of the good harmony that prevailed 
at the time in Java's highest circles. Timmerman 
Thyssen himself performed the ceremony, sma- 
shing a bottle of champagne on the bows, while 
in an eloquent speech he expressed the wish that 
"the ship Governor Raffles might prove worthy 
in her future career of the honourable appellation 
she was that moment receiving" .* The fete he gave 
that evening at his house surpassed all previous 
displays of the kind, and was attended by the Go- 

* One the return voyage to England a mutiny broke out on 
this vessel, so that she had to put into Table Bay. 


vernor and his suite. The absence of Olivia Ma- 
riamne, however, was generally regretted. She was 
confined by a fairly serious indisposition, to a sick- 
bed in the palace at Buitenzorg, whither she had 
returned from her trip to Salatiga. Most of the 
merry-makers felt that this great evening party, 
which had long been talked of with anticipation, 
had been robbed of much of its glory by the absence 
of Olivia Mariamne, whose charming personality 
was wont to lend colour and life to every festive 
gathering. "We had flattered ourselves", the account 
of the entertainment in the Java Government Ga- 
zette runs, "into some faint expectation of meeting 
the Honourable Mrs. Raffles at the ball in the 
evening, but we regretted to learn that indisposition 
continues to deprive us of her presence at Batavia 
and that some time will yet elapse before we can 
promise ourselves the happiness of her fascinating 
society", Olivia Mariamne lay sick, very sick, in 
the great, white palace, wrestling in her weakness 
with a stubborn disorder, which daily increased 
in severity. 

All who knew of her weak health and were 
closely acquainted with her even had a momentary 
fear for her fragile life, but after a little while 
that fear proved to be unfounded. The sickness 
took a favourable turn and before the year closed 
she seemed to be so far recovered as to be able 
to receive the visits of friends. First among these 
were : her sister-in-law, Mrs Loftie, a sister of 
Raffles', who belonged to the vice-regal household. 
Lady Nightingall, wife of the Army Commandant, 
the wives of the adjutants and aides-de-camp of 
the Lieutenant-Governor, and a few high officials, 
like Mr. Robinson, Mr. Shrapnell, Mr. Skelton, 
Mr. Watt and their wives. To the aristocratic Dutch 
famihes in Olivia's time belonged the Couperuses, 
Meyers, Bauers, Vieruses, Timmermans, Thyssens, 
Veldhuises, Ysseldijks, Cranssens, Van Braams and 
Muntinghes, who were devoted, heart and soul, 
to the first lady in the land, foreigner though she 
was. It was to the Couperus family that she was 
most drawn and both Petrus Theodorus and his 
wife Catharina Rica, daughter of Cranssen, the 
Councillor of State and the only Hollander (besides 
Muntinghe) to sit in the Council during the British 
interregnum, were always welcome guests at the 
palace. Cranssen and Couperus, father-in-law and 
son-in-law, were great personal friends of Raffles, 
besides, and no-one was surprised when, upon the 
birth of a son, the names chosen for him were 
Jacob Thomas Raffles Couperus. These many 
friends, however, could not, it seemed, make up 
for the loss of their faithful friend. Dr. John Ley- 

den, who was taken from them at an early age 
in the very year of their arrival in Batavia. It seems 
to us that Raffles, overwhelmed as he generally 
was by his burdensome duties, often could have 
found but little time to devote to his wife, so 
many years his senior, and in his youthful energy 
and fervour he must have made excessive demands 
on her strength and powers, which were out of 
proportion to the weak condition of her health. He 
set great store by outward forms, by splendour 
and ceremony, and he liked to see her the centre 
of animated society-life, and often it was solely 
to please him that she took upon herself many 
a representative duty. As we shall presently, show, 
there was a considerable difference between so- 
ciety in the time of the East India Company and 
during the Interregnum, and the latter made infin- 
itely more demand on the Governor's wife, when 
she was the first lady among all the ladies in Java, 
orientalized some of them, and all without any, 
or with very little, refinement of culture. Ref- 
inement such as was introduced under Raffles' re- 
gime the Batavians had never known, and it is to 
Olivia Mariamne that the immortal honour is due 
of introducing it. 

What do we know of her inner life, of her 
struggles, of her existence in this new land, apart 
from all its outward glory, where homeliness was 
a rare thing and outward show the rule ? Children 
there were none, to bring light into her days, no 
little feet to patter on the marble floors, no little 
voices to echo in the marble halls of the fairy 
palace of Buitenzorg. 

1 813 was a notable year for her, for she made 
in that year the grand tour to the Principalities, 
and was thus afforded the opportunity of getting 
acquainted with the customs of the native courts. 

The first great function, which she attended 
after her recovery, to the vast delight of all who 
had sadly missed her, was the celebration of the 
birthday of Queen Charlotte on Monday, i8th 
January 1813, to which all the principal residents 
of Batavia had been invited a forthnight ahead. 
The Lieutenant-Governor and his lady, as we 
read in an account of the brilliant occasion, ent- 
ered the hall about 8.30, followed shortly after 
by the Army Commandant and Lady Nightingall. 
"The merry dance", the account runs, "soon 
commenced, the Major- General leading off with 
the "lady Governess," who we were happy to 
observe appeared to enjoy the dance with her usual 
grace and spirit". 

Olivia Mariamne, who with her inimitable grace 
had devoted herself untiringly to the dance all the 


evening, presided later at the sumptuous supper, 
at which sat four hundred guests, assuming the 
honours with supreme tact and charm. We can 
form some conception of what was required of the 
hostess who presided on such an occasion, when 
we are told (for instance) that there were needed 
2000 eggs, 26 ducks, 120 chickens, 666 bottles of 
beer, 396 bottles of Madeira, 24 capons, 72 bottles 
of port wine, 400 loaves of bread, two sheep, a 
whole cow, and a tun of salted meat. After the 
usual toasts to the health of the King, the Queen, 
the Prince Regent, Lord Wellington and the 
United Armies in Spain, Mrs Raffles and the 
ladies of Java, the climax was reached when a 
poem was declaimed, written by J. du Puy, en- 
titled The Fight of Salamanca, and set to the music 
of The Arethusa. The first verse was as follows: 

Six months have nearly rolled away. 
Since July's twenty- second day. 
Saw British valour's full display. 

At glorious Salamanca, 
But though some time has passed between. 
And we are distant from the scene. 
Yet let us not the less rejoice 
But all exclaim with joyful voice 

Huzza for Salamanca! 

This stirring song, which was sung with great 
gusto, eight verses long, evoked a storm of ap- 
plause, and was followed by another toast: The 
Heroes of Salamanca! Great enthusiasm prevailed 
and spirits ran high, and it was morning before 
the party broke up. Equally successful was the 
ball (and supper) given on the King's birthday, 
which was opened by Olivia Mariamne and the 
Commandant. Here again 'our amiable Lady Go- 
verness' sat at the head of one of the beautifully 
decorated tables, with a smile for everyone, and for 
everyone a friendly word, and tastefully gowned, 
in keeping with her high rank, she was youth and 
grace personified. 

At the dessert came the customary toast of the 
King, the national anthem not being wanting, of 
the Prince Regent (to the strains of the "Prince 
of Wales March"), of the Queen and the Royal 
Family (God Save the King), of the Duke of York 
("Duke of York's March") and of other official 
persons. Enthusiasm knew no bounds, however, 
and it reveals the spirit which animated Batavia's 
beau monde in that day that amid deep silence a 
toast was proposed to "Mrs Raffles and the Ladies 
of Java" upon which a storm of uproarious chee- 
ring was loosed and all present joined in the merry 
song : I would make you fain to follow me, and 

emptied their glasses to the health of their charm- 
ing hostess. Needless to say, theGovernor, too, had 
his turn and he was cheered to the strains of the 
wellknown song: Tight little island. It is noteworthy 
that a toast was that night proposed for the first 
time to "Mrs van Ysseldijk and the ladies of 
Batavia", which was drunk to the merry strains 
of the song that was very popular just then, namely 
Off she goes. Splendid fireworks followed the 
supper, and the guests scattered about the gar- 
dens, a fairyland of illuminations and decorations, 
not dispersing until four o'clock in the morning. 

Soon after, the birthday of the Prince Regent 
was celebrated in the same manner and it can be 
understood that after these crowded days Olivia 
Mariamne had little desire to accompany Raffles 
on his projected journey to Sourabaya. The palace 
of Buitenzorg also saw, on 20th April, an intimate 
ceremony, on the occasion of the marriage of the 
Governor's sister, Mrs Loftie with John Campbell 
Brown, Assistant Surgeon, to which only a few 
invitations had been issued. The Lieutenant-Go- 
vernor started alone, accompanied by his adjutants 
W. Robinson Esq., Lieut. Robinson and Lieut. 
DuUon of the 78th Regiment, and returned 
to Weltevreden in the first half of September in 
the cruiser Malabar, under the command of 
Commandant Deame. 

There were other reasons besides why Olivia 
Mariamne did not accompany him to the East. 
Plans had long been made for an official visit to 
the Courts of Solo and Djocja, but nothing had 
come of them yet, because Raffles did not think 
the time had yet come for such a visit. Now, 
however, the political situation had so changed,* 
that it was decided to bring off the visit at an 
early date, probably in December or January. As 
the greatest possible pomp and circimistance was 
required for this journey, in order to afford the 
native Princes a high conception of Britain's might 
in the East, preparations were made long in 

Olivia Mariamne in particular felt what a heavy 
task was again laid on her shoulders and she devoted 
herself entirely to the preparations for the journey, 
which would certainly take a month and demanded 
some knowledge of the local conditions. At last 
everything and everyone were ready. 

The date of departure approached with rapid 

* The old Sultan of Djocja, who had usurped the throne waS 
taken prisoner by Col. Gillespie and banished to Poeloe Pinang. 
His successor was his son Amangkoe Boewono III, who was expected 
to show better respect for the treaties with the Government. 


We read in the Java Government Gazette the fol- 
lowing announcement: 

"The Honorable the Lieutenant Governor will 
hold a levee at the Government House at Ryswyk 
on Monday next the ist November at nine o'clock, 
previous to his embarking for the Eastward". 

The Vice-regal Pair were offered a glorious 
farewell entertainment at Laanhof * and they left 
in the course of the same week, in the cruisers 
Aurora and Malabar, for the north coast, accom- 
panied by a large retinue, being seen off in the 
most impressive fashion by all the notabilities of 
WelteVreden. The Aurora was reserved for the 
Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs Raffles alone, and 
the Malabar for their suite. 

Weltevreden relapsed into vacant stillness now 
that Olivia Mariamne was gone. 

The life and soul of so many grand entertain- 
ments was away. There is mention only of one 
evening party, given by Messrs. Assey, Tucker 
and Mackenzie in the Smissaerts' beautiful home 
on Molenvliet. The occasion for it is not stated. 
It was opened by Lady Nightingall in the absence 
of Mrs Raffles. No further festivities of that na- 
ture followed. The beau monde awaited the retufn 
of "our amiable Lady Governess". 

Cheribon, Tegal, Pekalongan and Semarang pre- 
pared splendid receptions for the vice- regal pair 
and their journey resembled a triumphal progress. 
As they stayed four or five days in each town in 
order to spare Olivia Mariamne 's health, there 
was ample scope for the festive celebrations. 
Dinners, balls, suppers, "public breakfasts" fol- 
lowed one another with a fatiguing rapidity, while 
trips in the vicinity of the various ports formed 
a principal part of the programme. Raffles took 
the opportunity to view the Kedoe district, which 
was called the "garden of the world" as early as 
then. He was received on the boundary by Messrs. 
Robinson and Skelton, and the officers Taylor 
and Eckford, while the Resident, Lawrence, and 
Lt. Heyland, his Assistant, awaited him in the 

Olivia Mariamne did not accompany him, but 
visited instead (accompanied by her friends) her 
dear Salatiga, the village where she loved to stay 
for the sake of its lovely climate. She was recei- 
ved there by Col. Eales and Major O'Brien. 

Together they returned to the Government 
House in Semarang, where on the evening of that 
day all the principal personages were assembled at a 

* A fine country house on the spot where the present European 
cemetery is situated. 

grand dinner. A review of the Java Light Cavalry 
succeeded, and was in turn followed by a banquet 
given by the garrison officers, races at Salatiga, 
after these a very jolly picnic, and finally a bril- 
liant farewell banquet. 

Goodbye was said to Semarang and the journey 
was continued to the Principalities. 

Surakarta, the Court of the Susuhunan, came 
first. A halt was called at the Bojolali fort, where 
the night was spent. 

Early next morning the journey was resumed 
and there was already a deputation to meet the 
vice-regal pair at Assem. This comprised civil and 
military officers of the sultanate and the Assistant 
to the Resident, while the Prang Wedono brought 
the military honours with fifty mounted men of 
his escort. In procession they now proceeded to 
Kartasura, the former royal city, where His High- 
ness the Sultan received his guests with much 
pomp and splendour, and whence the grand com- 
pany now took their way to Kledjo, a royal 
pleasure-resort, where the whole of the Sultan's 
court, his Consort, the Princes and Princesses, and 
the Lords and Ladies-in-waiting were assembled. 
After numerous ceremonies, mutual salutations 
and the proffer of refreshm.ents, the procession 
was formed for the State entry into Surakarta. 
The impressive pageant was heralded by a detach- 
ment of the Lieutenant-Governor's Lifeguards — 
a brigade of the six- pounders — followed by sixty 
men of the Light Cavalry. Next came Olivia 
Mariamne with the Ratu (the Sultan's Consort) 
in a state coach drawn by four horses with coach- 
men and grooms in fine liveries and two mounted 
aides-de-camp by the coach-doors. 

Immediately after followed the royal coach, 
beautifully gilt and embellished, the Kiai Doedoek, 
in which were seated the Lieutenant-Governor 
and the Susuhunan, drawn by six horses with 
mounted aides-de-camp and surrounded by many 
lackeys, footmen and native officers, and followed 
by a detachment of Hussars. Other coaches follow- 
ed, containing the Resident's wife with Col. Eales, 
the Resident with the Crown Prince, the principal 
members of the Sultan's family and the Lieutenant- 
Governor's suite. At a measured pace and amid 
great interest on the part of the native population, 
the Company drove into the kraton, and thence to 
the Resident's house, where a large gathering of 
Dutch and British residents had assembled to pay 
their respects to the vice-regal pair. Worn out with 
fatigue Olivia Mariamne lay down to rest on the 
night of that exciting day, heartily glad to be able 
to put aside for a few hours the mask of official 


smiles and nods, and to be herself at last. Raffles 
had expressly cancelled all festivities on that first 
evening, in order to afford her the necessary rest, 
and he went so far in his solicitude for her welfare 
as to dismiss the members of his suite immediately 
after the reception. 

All were up betimes next day. 

The Lieutenant-Governor, who was greatly in- 
terested in botany and allied sciences, paid a fairly 
long visit, accompanied by his consort and suite, 
to the collection of plants, animals and minerals 
belonging to Dr. Horsfield, an American who was 
a keen collector. The distinguished guests were 
shown, among other things, how rapidly the poison 
of the upas-tree took effect, a bird and a dog 
being given food containing the poison, and the 
former dying within two minutes, the latter in 
eight; there were, besides, numerous rare tropical 
plants, ores, stones and interesting specimens of 
East Indian fauna. Unfortunately the visit had to 
be curtailed, for Olivia Mariamne had to hasten back 
to the Residency, where she was holding a 'draw- 
ing-room' for the Dutch and English ladies. The 
reception was enlivened by a Javanese play. There 
was a large crowd and here again she won all 
hearts by her charm. When that was over she had 
only a moment's time to herself, for the Susuhunan 
and his consort, accompanied by a large escort, 
were paying their return visit to the Residency 
and for the rest of the evening they were the guests 
of the European residents. It was scarcely twilight 
before fireworks, veritably out of a fairy-tale, were 
set off, after which, the guests were invited to 
watch "two sets of dancing- girls" — probably the 
famous serimpis and a wayang show, A sumptuous 
supper followed at 11.30, when the Susuhunan 
gave a toast to the health of Mrs Raffles. The ball 
that followed was opened by the Susuhunan with 
Olivia Mariamne and the Lieutenant-Governor 
with the Ratu. 

Next day the vice-regal pair attended tiger 
fights in the kraton and, after a ceremonious fa- 
rewell, they drove off with great Oriental pomp 
and parade for the Court of the Sultan of Djoc- 

Their reception here followed the same lines as 
that in Solo. 

A ceremonious entry, triumphal arches, dec- 
orations illuminations, vast crowds, receptions, 
court dinners and what not besides. No less in- 
teresting than at Solo was the visit of the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, with his spouse and escort, to 
the kraton under escort of all the civil and military 
officers of the Government. The programme 

comprised tiger fights and buffalo fights, an au- 
dience and a great banquet, after which the vice- 
regal pair withdrew into the inner chambers of 
the kraton to meet the Sultan's mother and the 
royal princesses. The entertainment was not so 
protracted as usual, because a trip was to be made 
early next morning to the southern coast. 

Scarcely had the party returned from this trip 
in the afternoon, when they were entertained in 
the hearties manner in the fort by Major Dalton 
and the officers of the garrison, bumper toasts being 
drunk to the King and the Royal Family, General 
Nightingail and the Army of Java, Col; Eales, 
Commander of the Center Division and, needless 
to add, "our amiable Lady Governess", before the 
merry party dispersed. 

Next morning there was a parade of the Light 
Infantry Volunteer Battalion, followed by an 
official breakfast given by the officers in the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor's honour. Numerous toasts were 
proposed: by Major Dalton, "Mr Raffles, our 
Lieutenant-Governor and long may the island of 
Java flourish and prosper under his able and fost- 
ering administration"; by Raffles, "Lord Minto, 
the founder and the father of the British Empire 
in Java"; next came "General Gillespie and the 
Heroes of Djocja", "Lord Moria, success to his 
administration"; "Lord Wellington and our arms 
on the Peninsula"; "success to the arms of Russia, 
soon may they accomplish the downfall of the 
Tyrant"; "General Nightingail and the Army 
of Java"; "the Island of Java, the land we live in, 
and success to it." 

In the afternoon of the same day farewells 
were said to the Sultan's Court according to the 
prescribed ceremonial. 

Next morning the distinguished pair left for 

The visit to the Principalities could be regar- 
ded as over. 

Olivia Mariamne returned to Weltevreden on 
Wednesday, 14th February 1814. 

The very next dayshe held her monthly ' 'drawing- 
room",* a representative dury, which she could 
scarcely evade. The reception was attended by 
most of the English and Dutch ladies of the 
Settlement, who were very glad to be able to greet 
their "Lady Governess" again after such a long 

In was as if the social world of Weltevreden 
had waited for her return, for no sooner had poor 

* The Java Government Gazette, Februari 19, 18 14, 



Olivia returned from her fatiguing journey to the 
Javanese Courts but festivity followed festivity. 

On her birthday, i6th February the Robinsons 
gave a party in her honour that went "as merrily 
as a marriage-bell". All social Batavia streamed 
in to celebrate with the greatest eclat the birthday 
of "our amiable Lady Governess" and to pay 
her tribute. It is noteworthy that the occasion was 
observed with the same splendour and display as 
was customary on the birthdays of the Royal Fa- 
mily, and the prodigious luxury displayed at this 
celebration was the talk of society for days. The 
entertainment given by the Van Braams on the 
occasion of the return of the head of the family 
from Europe via Bengal was also graced by the 
presence of Olivia Mariamne,* and likewise the 
ball given by Mr. Watt in his fine house at Ryswyk. 
But she had now reached the end of her strength 
and was in urgent need of rest. 

The palace physician prescribed rest and secl- 
usion in the Palace at Buitenzorg. She was not 
present at the dinner and reception in the Palace 
at Ryswyk on the occasion of the visit of Sir Sam- 
uel Hood, the Vice- Admiral nor at the part);- given 
in his honour by Mr. Timmerman Thyssen in his 
country mansion at Kampong Malajoe. The Java 
Government Gazette reports: "We were sorry to 
learn that the lady Governess v/as unable to favor 
the Company with her presence from indispos- 
ition . . ." 

Her intimate friends knew what that meant. 

There were countless marks of sympathy, exp- 
ressed in every f^m, which reached the vice- 
regal residence at Buitenzorg from Weltevreden, 
and it is no exaggeration to say that the sympathy 
with her in her sickness was so sincere and general 
that people abstained from every form of festive 
enjoyment, so long as she lay confined to her 
bed. But this time again the clouds of calamity 
which threatened the Governor and his family, 
rolled away, and after a few weeks it could be 
said that the danger was past, although it was a 
long time before the dearly-loved figure was seen 
again at Weltevreden. 

Meanwhile, interesting things had happened. 

By the Treaty of London of 13th August 1814 
Holland received back almost all her East Indian 
possessions. Although the news was not yet known 
in Java, yet there was every reason for the Hollan- 
ders at Weltevreden and elsewhere to celebrate 
with great splendour the birthday of the Prince 
of Orange, son of the Sovereign, on 24th August. 

The Java Government Gazette March 26, 1814. 

For the morning of that day the Cranssens had 
invited all the leading residents, both European 
and native, together with other Orientals, to their 
beautiful residence on the Jacatra Road for a great 
feast, all nationalities sitting down together in 
the various rooms at many beautifully decorated 
tables, where European, Chinese and native dishes 
were served. 

This prodigious banquet, which was the occasion 
for an astounding display of old Dutch-Colonial 
hospitality, commenced at nine o'clock in the mor- 
ning and lasted until past the afternoon. All Batavia 
and his wife streamed to the feast and a fortune 
had been spent to make it a success. 

It was at this feast, a real old national feast, 
that Olivia Mariamne made her first appearance 
in public after her recovery. Tokens of affection 
and friendliness were not wanting and when the 
distinguished pair left at II o'clock, they took a 
very hearty leave of their host and hostess, although 
by that time the atmosphere had become very 
Orangist and the place was resounding with na- 
tional songs, freely sung. At night the houses of 
the Dutch notables were gaily illuminated and the 
palatial residences of the leading families, like the 
Cranssens, Ysseldyks, Engelhards and Veldhuises 
were a glowing sea of thousands of lamps, which had 
been fitted up on the facades and in the gardens 
with stupendous trouble and at great expense. An 
evening party at the Meyers' closed this memorable 
day and a long file of carriages sped to the ho- 
spitable mansion, which was suffused with an ex- 
quisite illumination. Olivia Mariamne appeared a 
little after ten, on her husband's arm, and soon 
after the distinguished pair had held a little court, 
all the guests formed up, with the Lieutenant- 
Governor and his spouse at the head, to drive in 
a wellnigh endless procession of fine carriages 
around the festally illuminated and decorated city, 
and returning to continue the festivities until deep 
into the night. There were numerous other festal 
gatherings but Olivia took no further part in 
them, partly in order to spare her health and partly 
because her presence was not required. 

On the 14th of October 1814 Major-General 
and Lady Nightingall gave a most splendid even- 
ing party in honour of Olivia Mariamne. 

That was to be her last appearance in public. 

Just this once more the English and Dutch 
communities could enjoy the company of this un- 
commonly charming woman, just once more hear 
her lovely rich voice enquiring after their well-be- 
ing with unwearied interest, once more take their 
delight in the winning smile of that beautiful 



mouth, which could murmur soft words that came 
from the heart, and it was as if on this evening 
of evenings she could not tear herself away, for the 
party lasted on till late in the night, as though all the 
guests felt a presentiment that they were parting 
for ever from her dear form. Never had Olivia 
Mariamne found such heartiness and affection as 
on this evening, and when she lay down to rest 
after the feast was over, where she had been ac- 
corded the honours of a queen, there must have 
come over her, all unconsciously, the feeling as 
of one who has performed her duty, nay more 
than her duty, and can look down with satisfaction 
upon the road she has travelled. She would have 
seen once more in fancy the glamour of the Batavia 
parties, hosts and hostesses in all their splendour 
and wealth, and then herself, often too weary and 
worn out to enjoy it all, but always lovable, always 
winning. Her sacrifices were not in vain. She had 
acquitted herself right excellently of her task as 
the Governor's lady, to the benefit of both fellow- 
countryman and foreigner. 

Not long after this party at the Nightingalls' 
Olivia was struck down again by her old disorder 
and a long bed of sickness fol- 
lowed. This time, however, the 
menace of danger was not limit- 
ed merely to a warning, but it 
increased in severity until in the 
end the medical skill of that day 
was baffled to find a cure 

The dreaded moment had 
come at last. 

The Angel of Death flew 
over the great white palace, 
hidden in the green woods, and 
carried away Olivia Mariamne 
on softly-beating wings to a 
better world. 

There was great consterna- 
tion in the land. 

The woman whom they had 
feted and loved was sincerely 
mourned by all. 

We shall not tell of the so- 
lemn funeral, of the overwhel- 
ming interest of all classes of the 
population in the last journey 
of the dear dead, of the wide 
sympathy shown to Raffles at 
the void in the great white 
palaces, now she was gone, but 
we would rather put in here 
the foUov/ing notice of her 

European dress in the time of Raffles. 

death, which appeared in the black-bordered 
issue of the Java Government Gazette: 

"Died atBuitenzorg on Saturday the 26th ultimo, 
Olivia Mariamne, the Lady of the Honorable Thom- 
as Stamford Raffles Esq. Lieutenant-Governor of 
this colony — .The numerous assemblage of persons 
of both sexes to assist at the mournful ceremony 
of paying the last duties and honors to the deceas- 
ed, and the general and marked expression of 
unaffected grief which was there evinced, is the 
best proof of the respect and regard which her 
benevolence arid manners had acquired among 
all classes of society in Java; and her more im- 
mediate friends will justly say that, possessed in 
life of a heart glowing with the most generous 
affections, and of a mind guided by the purest 
principles of friendship and kindness, she lived 
beloved by all who knew her and carries to the 
grave the certainty of being ever remembered by 
them with a fond, devoted and faithful attach- 
ment. — Her remains were interred at Batavia by 
the side of the late Dr. Leyden". 

In the Tanah-Abang cemetery at Weltevreden 
in Java the foreign lady has lain for ovem hundred 
years in her white-plastered 
grave beside Raffles' young 
friend, and many an English 
tourist with a feeling for his- 
tory enquiries his way to-day to 
the last resting-place of the wife 
of the Founder of Singapore. 

It is as though this memory 
from past colonial history has 
woven an invisible thread be- 
tween the statue of Raffles in 
front of the town- hall of the 
Lion City, the simple grave in 
the capital of Netherlands India 
and the little shrine in the Royal 
Botanic Gardens at Buitenzorg, 
which Raffles caused to be 
erected to her memory on the 
edge of the great pond, whose 
bosom reflects the image of the 
palace and on whose marble 
stone is graved the following 
epitaph : 

Oh thou whom ne'er my 
constant heart 
One moment hath forgot 

. . s ,..:fi.i .: Tho' fate severe hath bid us 

Yet still — forget me not. 




Mmu/aetaHJ hg 


Syracuis, N. T. 

Stoolcten, Cslif. 

OS e46.2iMumi'''''"''''''' 

^Mimimi«f K,.?' °"^'^ Mariamne Raffles 

3 1924 014 376 309 






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